Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Favorites: Week of the Christmas Party Edition

We have had a fun week full of Christmas parties! Plus Terrell and I have been wrapping and planning and staying up too late trying to make sure we're ready for the big celebrations that are coming fast. We only have 6 days til Christmas! =)

Here are my favorites from our week...

*Our first party of the week was a Polar Express party during Storytime at our library. The kiddos wore pajamas, read the book, got a bell, made a craft, and ate lots of goodies. These two loved it. =) 

*Earlier in the week we also took advantage of the warmer temps and got outside. And the big boys have started a major serious, very big deal rock collection. Rocks are treasures for these 2.

*Between parties, Austin and I have worked all week on patterns with leftover wrapping paper. Little man has got it down. Even tough ones!

*The big boys had their choir Christmas program and party Wednesday night during their usual choir time. It was precious! I love watching my kiddos perform and sing. I think I smiled the whole entire time. Adorable!
This was Austin's first ever performance for an audience and he did great! He was pretty serious about his performance... and a little intimidated too I think, but he sang along with every song and watched his teacher just like he was supposed to. We were super proud.
My biggest is just a pro at performing. He has always liked to sing and always does a great job.

*On yesterday we had Garrison's Christmas party at school. Austin loved getting to go to this. I think he thinks he's kind of sort of in Kindergarten too. =)

*Layton had fun too and was entertained my Garrison's classmates the whole time. It was a fun little party.

*Speaking of Layton... he's officially our little puller upper. Naptime shenanigans have begun. =)
*Garrison has a special day at school today. Pajama Day, Polar Express Day, and it's a half day... plus a surprise visitor this morning! Christmastime is just super special.

We have a fun weekend planned full of Christmas lights and are so excited to kick off our Christmas Break fun tonight! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Time!

Last Saturday while Terrell and I were in Columbia, SC for Terrell's work Christmas party, my parents took the boys to see Santa!

(And while I am a bit of a control freak and like doing everything "big" with the kids myself, this particular weekend and this particular local Santa set-up was just about our only Santa option for the season. In other words we were desperate. Haha. So I let Granna and Papa do the honors and it worked out perfect. Yay!)

The Santa tradition for us is mostly about the cute/funny/crying/crazy pictures we get of the kiddos as they grow. It's not something we really talk about or build up or eagerly anticipate every year, just a simple, fun, and usually hilarious tradition. Plus it's nice for the big boys to get a chance to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. And even better if it's free. =) We've found that taking our own pictures of the boys with Santa is definitely the way to go.

This year the boys went to visit Santa at the local bank. Mrs. Claus was there too and you took your own pictures plus they had cookies and milk and Christmas suckers and NO LONG LINES. Yes please!

Clearly Layton was not a fan. Haha! Garrison wasn't impressed his first Christmas either. =)

This one may be my favorite. The big boys look happy and totally at ease while Layton has the most pitiful (and afraid!) yet adorable look and frown on his face. I'm going to want this one framed. =)
The different expressions in this close-up are priceless. Layton is still pitiful, Santa is concerned, Austin is working his fake smile, Mrs. Claus is bearing it all with a grin, and Garrison is just happy. I love it. =)

And in this one Austin and Layton are looking at the same thing... probably something my mom was doing to try to distract Layton. Haha. Santa pictures are always interesting!
I'm told my big boys only asked Santa for one thing each. And of course it's something they've never mentioned to us once. Of course. Garrison wants a sled and Austin wants a toy motorcycle. Soooo.... we're still unsure about the whole sled thing. He's picturing (I'm sure) what he's seen in books and movies but what isn't exactly practical or easy to find here in the south. So the jury's still out on what we're going to do about his request for a sled. As far as a toy motorcycle...Terrell is hoping the hotwheel version/size of a toy motorcycle in Austin's stocking will do the trick for him. We shall see. Only Christmas morning will tell.

BIG thanks to Granna and Papa for taking the kiddos to see Santa and continuing the tradition! I'm thinking we may visit this same Santa again next year. I love a real Santa (no fake beards allowed!), free pictures, and no lines. And of course the memories and laughs the pictures always bring. =)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 Months Old

Our littlest man turned 10 months old on Friday! His first year is flying by. Soon we'll be planning his 1st birthday! Watching your babies grow is one of life's greatest joys...even if it is bittersweet and super fast.

This month has been a busy one for Layton! We are officially in mama and daddy work-out and chasing down mode. Baby boy is mobile and into everything and keeping us running. I'm always chasing him or fishing something out of his mouth that shouldn't be there or trying to trap him in a certain room or spot. Things can get pretty wild around here. But he is sweet and lovable and TOTALLY worth it. =) We are soaking up our baby boy and every new adventure he brings!

10 months monkey pics...

Garrison Cade at 10 months...
Austin at 10 months...
10 Months Stats & Happenings...
*You weigh around 17 pounds we think and are guessing you're around 27 inches long. Still on the small side but growing fast.
*You still wear a size 3 in diapers but we're thinking we'll move on to 4s once we finish our box of 3s. You're wearing mostly 6-12 and 12 months clothes now.
*You seem to be teething again and might have another tooth on the bottom coming sometime soon. For now, you're cute as can be with just two. =)
*You still have a huge appetite and can't get enough to eat. You cry just about every single time you finish your tubs of baby food. So we introduced table food this month! So far you've tried potatoes, green beans, bread, peas, puffs, and fruit and veggie melts. You're enjoying table food lots so far.
*You still take 4 bottles a day of 5-6 ounces. We're hoping to increase 3 of your bottles so we can drop the mid-morning bottle. That's what we did with both of your big brothers and it seemed to help with dropping bottles altogether. We'll see what you think about that in the next few days. =)
*This month you didn't sleep through the night super consistently. You actually starting waking up once or twice between your bedtime, around 7:30, and 10:00 or 11:00 every night. All you needed was to be rocked... just sometimes for a looong time. You also woke up once during the night a few times a week. I'm thinking coming down RSV and being sick was part of the problem. We're hoping to get back on track this month. The past 2 nights have been a great start!
*You are still taking 2 naps a day with the morning nap being a little on the short side... typically just an hour or a little more. And the afternoon nap being closer to 2 hours. I think I'll take it. =)
*You are army crawling all over the place. And you are super fast! You pick up tiny pieces of whatever you can get your little fingers on and put things straight in your mouth. Dog food, legos, specks of trash. Yuck. You open cabinets and touch the lowest branches on the Christmas tree and chase after your brothers and get into whatever they're building/creating/playing. I am busy and almost never still while you are awake!
*You keep saying da-da-da-da lots. BUT, you also finally said ma-ma this month!!
*You love your big brothers and they are my big helpers with you. They sing to you, entertain you, help keep you away from things you aren't supposed to have, and love kissing and hugging you. I love seeing y'all love each other!
*And something that happened just yesterday (so technically not until after your 10 month birthday, but it's breaking news so I have to share).... You pulled up in your crib! I watched you on the monitor during naptime and couldn't believe it! I was thrilled and excited and proud!! A whole new adventure is coming our way soon. =)
*You are such a blessing to our family and we love watching you grow and celebrating your new milestones with you! Happy Birthday to our precious baby boy!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend of Blessings

We had a fun Christmas weekend full of blessings. We celebrated, worshipped, prayed, gave thanks, and rejoiced over the birth of our Savior. It was a good one start to finish.

We kicked things off Friday morning by getting ready for Terrell's company Christmas party in Columbia, SC. They have a really big Christmas party every other year so we got to take advantage of a free little one night get-away!  
The party itself was a little out of my comfort zone because Terrell has only been working there since this summer and I literally knew no one there. But it turned out to be a lot of fun meeting people and talking with his co-workers (and wives) and just having a nice dinner and enjoying a good band. We loved getting away together and laughed a lot! My parents kept the boys (with help from AnAn since my dad had dress rehearsal for the Christmas program at church and Frankie worked almost all weekend). And we loved that they had the party on a Friday evening. We are SO thankful for this job and are blessed to be a part of this work family. We left the party impressed and grateful.

Our attempt at a full length looking in the mirror selfie. Ha! Clearly our selfie skills are less than stellar. 

Meanwhile the boys were having lots of Christmas fun with Granna and Papa and AnAn. My parents took them to see Santa for us (blog post coming soon)....
And they got to make a gingerbread train! Fun was had by all. =)

On our way home from Columbia on Saturday Terrell and I made a few stops to finish up our Christmas shopping (yay!!) before going to pick up the boys from my parents'. Of course Layton was the only one happy to see us. We could really feel the love when both our big boys immediately said they didn't want to go home with us. Ha! At least we know they had fun.

Saturday evening after rushing around giving baths and eating supper we were off to see our church's Christmas program. All 3 boys stayed in the sanctuary with us to watch. Gracious. That was interesting. But we made it to the end and loved the program. It is always so good and one of my favorite traditions of the season. Forgiveness has a name. Jesus. Ah, my favorite song. So, so good.

Then came Sunday. An emotional, powerful day at church. From the music to the sermon to our entire Sunday School class crying together and praying together to the fun and innocence of a birthday party for Jesus. Terrell and I are so thankful for our church family and were so blessed and ministered to yesterday. It was amazing day of worship and prayer and faith.

So thankful for so much today. Hope your Monday is going great. =)

Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever,
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:3-5

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Favorites: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This week we've just enjoyed the season. It's been nice. Not too busy or crazy, just lots of uneventful family time soaking up the special and sacred of Christmas. And other than my big boy coming down with strep earlier in the week, we have loved lots about this week... Our advent every morning, Christmas music throughout the day, Christmas books galore, wrapping presents, enjoying our Christmas trees. Good, simple, fun stuff.

Here are my favorites...

*My 3 handsome boys in their Christmas-y Sunday best!

*Layton started exploring under the tree this week. He's felt of the lowest branches he can get his hands on and decided to pound away on a present or two. So far, no barricading of the tree has been necessary. =)

*My view one night before bedtime while I gave Layton his bottle. He's such a good daddy. (Notice Garrison's library book of choice...)

*Austin and I worked on a homemade ornament this week (maybe I'll remember to take a picture once it's finished) and got in some scissor practice cutting leftover wrapping paper.

*Speaking of wrapping... I did lots this week! I love having presents under the tree. =) Even if they are stashed toward the back so they aren't posing a big tempatation for Layton.
*This sweet boy takes about an hour nap in his bed every afternoon and then stumbles out of his room half asleep and gives me a hug before getting comfy on the couch and dozing back off for just a little bit. Presh.
*Garrison Cade decided to draw his very own Nativity scene this week. He worked on it for days and thought of every detail. The wise men, the animals, a shepherd, and of course Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. He cut it out and wanted to hang it on the tree like an ornament. So that's just what we did. =)
Now we're looking forward to our weekend... another Christmas party, our church's Christmas program (one of my favorite traditions of the season), a birthday party for Jesus, and maybe even a visit to see Santa. Happy Friday!! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Card & Family Pics

I love how our Christmas card turned out this year! We did something a little different and decided to add individual pictures of the boys along with a family picture, and I have to say the individual pics are some of my favorite ever!

We also have a tradition of choosing a line from a Christmas carol and this year we chose Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The song is a classic I've always loved and this year our Christmas season is full of little. Particularly little boys and their Christmas parties, countdowns, and traditions. We are enjoying our Christmas season full of little boys lots!

*Huge THANK YOU to my sweet and talented friend Megan who not only took our family pictures this year but also designed our card! She really can do it all. =) We are so thankful for her and always appreciate her amazing work and attention to detail. She's the best!

And now for my favorite family pics...

This picture captures them and life at this moment so well. =)
I love this one. They have such a sweet relationship.
My big boys. Best friends for life. =)

This one melts my heart...
And this one is my heart...

We are in love with all of them. It may be a full-blown work out getting ready for family pictures and a little stressful picking out clothes and scheduling a date but once we've done it, everything about it is totally worth it. I will always treasure my annual pictures of our growing family. Thanks again Megan!!

**Here's a look back at last year. =)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Favorites Times 2

Last week was Thanksgiving Break and was just wonderful. It was like a reunion for my big boys. They played together all day everyday and enjoyed just about every minute of their extra time together. It was nice for me too because our whole week was so laid back. I am so thankful for school breaks just when we need them!

This week has been pretty good too though. It's Christmastime. Our little house is decorated. We've been reading Christmas books every night before bed. And getting back into the swing of things hasn't been too tough. So I'm thankful for that too.

I haven't made quite as many pictures of my favorite happenings these past 2 weeks as normal, but the ones I've captured are pretty special. Here are my favorites...

*For the past few years I've been recording what the boys are thankful for everyday during the month of November. It is always so precious (and cute and funny) to hear what they have to say. Absolutely nothing was prompted by me for either one of the boys. But we ususally did ask Austin first when we remembered because if not he would just repeat some version of what Garrison said. =)

*During the Thanksgiving Break we watched a Christmas movie almost every single night. So fun! The big boys loved doing this... while Layton tried pulling their blankets off of them. =)
*Thanksgiving morning shortly after 7:00 Terrell caught these sweet brothers laying down reading books together. Melt. My. Heart!!!

*Austin and I started our little school time again this week and made a couple of Christmas trees. One with "ornaments" that spelled Selph, and one with "ornaments" numbered 10-30. My middle man has been giving me a run for my money lately (the terrible 3s may seriously do me in), so fun school time together has been soo nice! 
*My littlest just said mama for the very first time on Wednesday!! Sweetest sound EVER!
*The big boys and I are loving doing our advent calendar/nativity scene every morning. Such a special tradition that helps start our day and keep our focus on the reason for the season.
*The Kindergarteners had a little Christmas program last night that was super cute! And speaking of cuteness, here's my biggest with some of his favorite friends. =)

We are looking forward to a pretty fun weekend. House hunting (yay!!!), shopping, and a Christmas party are all on the agenda. Happy Friday!!